On the road(s): the voice of God

“This last season of my life is best captured by two roads,” writes author and Presbyterian minister Adam S. McHugh at Internet Monk. “It sounds like a tired metaphor, except it’s not a metaphor. I have in mind two actual paths. One you drive and the other you walk.”

McHugh, who has written in some detail about his ministry experiences on his blog, was a Los Angeles-based hospice chaplain. He lived an on-call life. He was tethered to his beeper and felt burned out. He writes at Internet Monk that ministry “had not felt like a good fit for some time.”

When he could, McHugh got into his car and turned onto the 101. He sped north, to Santa Ynez wine country. Amid the green vines and bucolic scenes, the good food and fine vintages, he restored himself. He found beauty and peace. He rediscovered wonder.

McHugh began to call his sojourns “pilgrimages.” He began to think of the vineyards as a “thin place,” or “one of those hallowed spots in the Celtic tradition where the clouds that separate heaven and earth part and the sun of God’s presence shines brilliantly.” It was his professional business to sense God speaking. He sensed it now.

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